5 ways with Cheddar

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Cheesy crackers

Makes about 24

In a food processor, combine 250g grated Cheddar, 200g plain flour, ½ tsp salt and 200g very cold, grated butter. Pulse a few times until crumbly. Taste and add more salt if desired. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4 and line two baking trays with parchment paper. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut into crackers using a pastry cutter. Place on the baking trays and brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with caraway, poppy or sesame seeds, or sea salt if preferred. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until golden brown.

 

Cheese-stuffed burgers

Makes 6

In a large bowl, combine 900g minced beef with some salt and black pepper and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Divide the mixture into six equal portions and form into balls. Press a cube of Cheddar into the centre of each ball and cover completely with meat. Form the balls into hamburger patties and grill until cooked throughout. Serve on toasted buns with your choice of toppings.

 

Cheese and bacon potato pancakes

Serves 4

Heat 2 tsp rapeseed oil in a small pan over a medium heat and add 150g bacon lardons. Cook until crispy, stirring frequently, then drain pancetta on kitchen paper and allow to cool. In a bowl, combine 250g leftover mashed potatoes with the bacon, 1 beaten egg, 60g grated white Cheddar, 1 tbsp chopped chives and some salt and pepper. Heat 3 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large non-stick pan over a medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, use a medium ice cream scoop to scoop out portions of potato mixture into the hot oil. Press down on each scoop to flatten slightly and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with sour cream, if desired.

 

Easiest ever tomato and Cheddar soup

Serves 8

In a blender or food processor, puree 4 x 400g tins of tomatoes until smooth. Pour into a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Stir in 1.4l vegetable stock, 350g grated red Cheddar and 170g tomato purée. Add 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp dried tarragon, a pinch of dried thyme and some salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted and the soup is smooth.

 

Welsh rarebit

Serves 6

In a small saucepan, melt 30g butter over a medium heat. Whisk in 2 tbsp plain flour and cook, whisking, until golden. Whisk in 200ml dark beer and continue whisking until the mixture thickens. Mix in 60g grated Cheddar, 2 tsp wholegrain mustard and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Season to taste and remove from the heat. Toast 6 slices of bread, then place on a rimmed baking tray. Cover with the cheese sauce, using a spatula to push the sauce over the whole surface. Place under a grill and cook until the cheese is bubbly and turns golden in spots. Serve immediately.